The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

June 9, 2011

Stewart ‘excited’ about 2011 season

MORGANTOWN — West Virginia coach Bill Stewart says he’s excited about the upcoming season but refuses to discuss recent distractions that have gripped the football program.

Stewart told The Charleston Daily Mail on Wednesday he’s letting athletic director Oliver Luck and the WVU administration handle questions surrounding the coach and his successor, offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen.

A former Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter said this week Stewart called him shortly after Holgorsen’s hiring in December and asked him to “dig up” some dirt on the new hire.

Stewart referred questions to Luck about whether he’s met with the athletic director. Luck has said he isn’t going to discuss personnel matters publicly.

Stewart says his staff is preparing for the season as they always have.

Stewart and Luck were both at a Mountaineer Caravan stop in Wheeling Tuesday, but neither answered questions about the recent distractions, according to The Wheeling Intelligencer.

Stewart spoke almost exclusively about the upcoming season and how it was his hope that the team’s young defense would be helped out by Holgorsen’s explosive offense and that special teams would be more of a factor in 2011.

Luck simply referred to a statement released by the school Tuesday afternoon.

In that three paragraph statement, Luck said:

“There have been various reports, much speculation, and rumor around our football program and coaches,” he said. “But I want to make it clear that I consider these to be personnel matters, and while I take them very seriously, I am dealing with them internally and privately, and I will not discuss them publicly.

“What I will say is that our athletic department coaches and staff are clear that their focus is on the program, the team and a successful season.

“My expectations of all our coaches and staff have not wavered; that is to run a clean and honest program with the utmost integrity and professionalism. Anything less is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”

Stewart didn’t return a telephone message from The Associated Press Wednesday.

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